2017 06-11 SB Channel
We’re in one of those windy and moderately choppy periods now, but Captain Eric and his team took it slow and easy. The wild beauty of the Santa Barbara Channel cannot be exaggerated. 1,500 long-beaked common dolphins and 2 humpback whales were closely watched. When the seas come up a bit, it’s great to see these animals in their natural environment.
Near the outer Santa Barbara harbor entrance buoy a group of several hundred dolphins were found feeding on a northern anchovy hotspot. Seabirds were diving, California sea lions were there, and the dolphins showed off their upside-down feeding skills…always a really amazing thing to see!
From this initial sighting Captain Eric slowly moved west hoping to get as far up the coast as possible before the forecasted winds kicked-up. Around Naples he turned around and rode the seas to the east just outside the 50-fm line. Down east, in The Flats, a larger group of dolphins was located and they immediately came to the Condor Express and rode the waves.
Closer to Platform Henry an even larger pod of dolphins was active on the surface and 2 humpback whales were following along with them. This was Scarlet and her friend, by the way. Wherever the dolphins went, so did the whales. At one point the whales passed directly under the stationary boat. What a thrill.
At this point it was time to head back to the harbor and the wind was on the rise.
You never know what Mother Nature has in store.